NaNoWriMo is in full swing!
I’ve decided this November I’m going to write a weekly series on NaNoWriMo, sharing my progress and offering advice.
The first week has started off great and it usually does, as a result of the excitement many of us can barely contain. I’ve been really happy with my progress so far. I started with 2, 000 words, surpassing the 1, 667 word per day minimum and am striving to hit that word count regularly.
I prefer to write more meticulously, researching in advance, thinking about what I’m writing and even re-writing it if I feel like it doesn’t read right. A personal goal this year was to write more regularly and hit higher word counts in each writing session. I think I can now write so much more for NaNo because I’ve cultivated a good writing habit year-round.
Let’s admit it though: some days can be just plain hard to write. You’ve brought work home with you, or homework, if you’re a student. A family member is trying to get your attention. And you’ve also picked up a cold, probably at work or school. Darn fall/winter.
Writing is hard work that takes dedication, passion and determination. During NaNo, you have to demonstrate these traits every day. The first week is crucial because it will either make or break you. You can fall behind very easily in the first week but you also have the initial excitement and eagerness on your side.
So in the beginning week of NaNoWriMo, I’d like to share some tips if you’re running low on momentum:
- Keep reading and doing research (if your story requires it). Don’t stop reading that novel you just started or stop researching for critical parts of your story. I started researching life in medieval villages because my character’s life starts there. I found myself stuck at an early point in my story and realized it was because my knowledge of life in a medieval village was very limited. So I skimmed the book and found the information I needed, feeling more confident about what I was writing. I even learned some really random and interesting facts too!
- Reward yourself. You’re tackling a novel. You’re hitting those word counts everyday, whether it’s 500 or 2,000. You’re setting out to accomplish a huge goal. I think everyone should take pride in this. I’ve come up with a weekly reward system this year. At the end of each week, about Friday or sometime on the weekend, I’ll give myself one reward. My first week reward will be a tin can of Tim Hortons instant coffee. Despite this material reward, I feel internally rewarded too because I’m doing something I absolutely love.
- Be receptive and open to your surroundings. While writing, we tend to form our own little cocoon and sometimes forget about the world around us. The other week(before it got extremely cold where I live) I noticed all the bright leaves on the trees and the ground while walking. The colours were just so vibrant: wine red and pumpkin orange… I just had to jot down what I saw for my NaNoWriMo story. Will I use it? Maybe. Maybe not. The end result is that it got me writing and got me thinking.
- Stash those leftover Halloween chocolates and candies. Use this sugar high to propel you forward and keep your momentum going. Nah, I’m only joking. Half-joking. Make sure to keep hydrated, eat healthy and eat regularly. It’ll keep your mind sharp and keep your energy levels up.
- Take much-needed breaks, even a day if necessary. The only disadvantage to taking a day off is that you can easily jeopardize the good habit of writing you’ve formed and then fall behind. You also risk eye-strain and burnout by sitting at the computer for too long. It’s important to take breaks, whether that’s every hour or every fifteen minutes.
I’m cheering for everyone writing this month, whether you’re doing NaNoWriMo, tackling your individual writing projects or blogging all month-long.
If you’re interested in being writing buddies, I’m fantasywriter100. 🙂